After a run of regular-season success in the early 1990s (winning three straight East Division titles), the Pirates struggled mightily over the following 20 years, with 20 consecutive losing seasons from 1993 to 2012—the longest such streak in North American professional sports history—before posting a winning record in 2013 of 94–68, qualifying them for the NL Wild Card.
The event is, in essence, a baseball carnival for the whole family. In 2007, the Pirates chose to end the longest relationship between a team and a radio station in American professional sports.
Their various home fields in the 19th century were in a then-separate city called Allegheny City, across the Allegheny River from Pittsburgh. At this time, the team renamed itself the Pittsburgh Alleghenys, Before the 1890 season, nearly all of the Alleghenys' best players bolted to the Players' League's Pittsburgh Burghers.
The team was listed as "Allegheny" in the standings, and was sometimes called the "Alleghenys" (not the "Alleghenies") in the same generic way that teams from Boston, New York, and Chicago were sometimes called the "Bostons", the "New Yorks", and the "Chicagos", in the sports writing style of that era. The Players' League collapsed after the season, and the players were allowed to go back to their old clubs.
On September 21, 1963 the Pirates were the first MLB team to have an African-American manager in Gene Baker, as he filled in for Danny Murtaugh.
However, due to their long history in Pittsburgh dating back to the 1882 season, the team has retained a strong loyal following in the Pittsburgh region, especially among older residents.
After a slow period, they returned to dominance and won the 1960 World Series, 1971 World Series and 1979 World Series.